Top 20 Irish blogs, maybe…

Iain Dale has come back from his holiday and has published a list of the top twenty political blogs in Ireland. Let me put my hand up and say: guilty as charged. Trying to trap something as etherial as the best politics blogs on an island with two polities that for the most part have quite separate obsessions. Also, there are some blogs not on the list that probably do deserve to be there. I’d be glad to hear who your think has been missed (sorry Sharon, it was very tight!). Time to update Slugger’s ancient blogroll.PS: I wondered whether to exclude Slugger completely, but decided in the end that it would probably have been construed as a false modesty considering that our traffic levels puts us at number one.

And a hat tip to the ghost of Banquo at the Irish Blogger’s feast, to

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • A well deserved triumph! Congratulations! But look who sneaked in at number five!

    All doubting that the tradition of English Hibernophobia is alive and well, they should refer to the stream of abusive comments (most over the pseudonym ‘Newmania’) which have been added.

  • Huh?

    The Young Unionists appear? Obviously for comedy value over the last couple of week?

  • 15th, eh? Thanks Mick – that’s probably quite generous (particularly considering my level of activity over the summer) but I won’t complain. I must try and get back into the swing of this blogging lark, sometimes it seems like such hard work.

    PS – Does this mean EU will get a place on the Slugger blog roll if you do another update? 😉

  • Dawkins

    Congrats, Mick.

    Loved Newmania’s comment.

  • Hi Mick !

    Celebrations all round here in ‘1169 Towers’ – we are listed at number twenty , and fully intend to use said listing in our attempt to ‘persuade’ that Mulley fella to treat us better at the next Irish Blog Awards ceremony.
    But that will have to wait . Right now it’s party time… !

    Thanks ,

  • I Wonder

    It is very poor judgement to name a site which encourages racial and religious intolerance and hatred in this list.

    However, I’ll balance that against a satisfaction that said site is acknowledged to be “in Ireland.”

  • Cheers for the mention Mick. Hopefully now 90% of my readership will cease to be Latvian.

  • On misses by the way – A Pint of Unionist Lite has become one of my first stops each morning.

  • Delighted to be included! And I hope you like the recipes too.

  • I’ll not complain about appearing anyway 🙂 Where does he find the time to read all these blogs?

  • Oh, wait, Mick picked them. Now I understand.

  • Social conservatism??? Still, thanks for the mention

  • RG Cuan

    Comhghairdeas Mick!

  • Séamaí

    A site i’ve that also often breaks news stories (well in the Irish language media) is

    Doesn’t allow comments though – does that mean it can’t be classified as a blog?

  • Dawkins


    That’s a good question. My take is that a log or diary that appears on the web is a weblog or blog. I don’t think not allowing comments detracts from this. After all, no one comments on the Captain’s Log in Startrek and it remains a log.

    I’m wondering now if “blogs” like Slugger aren’t in fact what used to be known as bulletin boards in the prehistory days of the web.

  • Wee slabber

    I didn’t think my comments would have had such an impact!

  • “Time to update Slugger’s ancient blogroll”. Word! Really, it’s a shame, Slugger is such an excellent resource, unfortunatley if one were to use the blogroll to explore the (Northern) Irish blogosphere, one would find falls very short.

  • Many thanks Mick, very very much appreciated and nice to be in such great company. Incidentally I like the term ‘old left’… accurate in more ways than one, at least for me! You asked about others, I’d always check out,,, and indeed

  • Good choice Mick!
    Side issue, just to arrange a bit of controversy like….


    “Social conservatism from a Sinn Fein perspective.”

    Love it!
    Chris will beocme a socialist the day he gets the OK from the parish priest.
    But, to be fair, there’s genuine potential in the lad.

    I suspect the Young Unionist Site has been got at by the Dupe Dirty Tricks Dept (lessons supplied free by their friends at SF Internet Control plc), either that or one or two of the activists have got Mein Kampf on their new semester’s reading list . Sammy Morrison’s site “What Need of Further Lies” was basically chased offline by these self-same scoundrels, which was a pity.

    Re ATW, a cracking good read, even though I disagree with almost everything written there. I don’t think it really classifies as an “Irish” or Unionist blog any more. With Mr McCann’s exit, there’s only one it’s going and that’s international and up

  • I wonder…

    “With Mr McCann’s exit, there’s only one it’s going and that’s international and up”

    I wouldn’t bet on it…unlike Ireland with a +14 handicap tonight? COME ON IRELAND!

  • Thanks for the mention Mick but it’s seems unfair for ATW to be accidentally included with Irish blogs when we are by no definition Irish.

    And as for Ireland vs France – zut alors but it looks even more hopeless for Ireland than a UUP revival! C’est la vie.

  • alan

    Another case of foot and mouth in the UK
    But Norn Irn is Irish – that’s OK then David?

  • Thanks for the mention. 14th is not a bad position when you consider the quality of the other blogs listed. Must take a look at the other top 20 lists to see if there is anything of interest also.

  • Alan,

    Haven’t you heard? ATW is now graciously accepting being the 4th best 1/2Oth Irish blog position, bestowed upon by Mick. We are a clear number one in Donacloney however, thoiugh I am nominating Slugger as 4th best in the general Upper Bann area. Get with it Alan, you’re behind the game, bit like Ireland in that respect 😉

  • Ulsterman

    Top spot in an Irish blog??? Not a great accolade, it’s rather easy to be honest. More challenging to be top stop in an Ulster blog, now that’s where you test how good you are.

  • me

    Congratulations Mick. Well deserved

  • Mick

    Congratulations and well deserved.


  • Sean

    I’ll go along with Ulster-man, it’s easier to claim awards under the Irish banner than the Ulster one. Ulster is the more challenging, but with Irish it’s almost presented to you on a plate, you can’t go far wrong, it’s the easy way out.

  • My thoughts, for what they’re worth:

    Slugger deserves to be Number One, for producing a consistently great product and for providing a cross community platform that simply did not exist before it came to be

    ATW, despite any faults, also is a unique voice, and is by far the best of the Unionist political blogs in Ireland. I’d place it higher than Number Four.

    United Irelander deserves to be marked vastly higher than Number 17. It should be in anyone’s top three. Agree or disagree with UI’s politics, the man has done some important work. More power to him.

  • Slight correction:

    ATW is a unique creature and is not just Unionist.

    I give it good marks for articulating the Unionist position, as well as for fearlessly tackling the War on Terror, the threat of jihadi Islam, the deterioration of British and World society, and whatever else comes to mind.

    Were it to dissapear, I’d miss it, as would some of those who pretend to be horrified by it.

  • Daithí

    Sean said,: “I’ll go along with Ulster-man, it’s easier to claim awards under the Irish banner than the Ulster one. Ulster is the more challenging, but with Irish it’s almost presented to you on a plate, you can’t go far wrong, it’s the easy way out.”

    Sean, Ireland and Irish is synonymous with each other. This has always been the case since people lived on this island 7000 years ago, it’s people have ruled under one jurisdiction and it’s people have always resisted anti-Gaelic, Anglo-saxon forces. Don’t be selling out all that Gaelic history because you think your an Ulsterman.

  • I wonder…

    “..fearlessly tackling the War on Terror”

    Bollocks. Its priorities can be forever judged by a Google search on:

    “David Vance” and “nigger”

    ‘Nuff said.

  • Dawkins

    I wonder,

    “David Vance” and “nigger”

    Jeeze, and there I was thinking he was a white boy! David: respect, brother.

    As a quondam ATW commenter I’m pleased it’s high on the list of Irish blogs. I have to say though that I stopped visiting for two reasons: the unfortunate Andrew McCann and the utter predictability of the contributors.

    Those who visit frequently will know what I mean:

    Right good, left bad
    America good, EU bad
    Israel good, Arabs bad
    Little England good, multiculturalism bad
    Evangelism good, atheism bad

    And so on. I’m glad to see Mr. McCann has folded his tent. I suggested a couple of times that he was bringing an otherwise excellent blog into disrepute. It can only get better now, but David should perhaps consider adding one or two alternative voices. For the balance, dontya know.

  • Dawkins

    Another voice has indeed been added, that of the excellent mahons, from New York City yet.

    I share your view on the unfortunate McCann individual. But why waste keystrokes talking about that life form?

    The predominant west European worldview, esp from the media would be:

    Left good, right bad
    EU good, America bad
    Palestinians good, Israel and “Zionists” bad
    Multiculturalism good, Englishness bad
    Watered-down phony Christianity sorta good, Fundamentalism scary and stupid

    My apologies if Vance chooses not to follow along. He likes to give the sock in the jaw to the same old conventional European bullshit. Kind of refreshing if you ask me.

  • I wonder…


    when you present an articulate leftwing viewpoint on ATW, you get banned.

    When the opposing view is from a bisexual female, the banning has Biblical weight.

    When the inconsistency between internet views and BBC-expresed views is highlighted, you get banned.

    When a Google search turns up embarrassing results, you edit the posts.

    When you criticise ATW’s hatred of the family of a republican, you get banned.

    All from a defender of *Freedom of speech*

    Someone who believes Roman Catholics voting SDLP or SF are unfit for government” Does he express these views publicly? Does he subject them to the democratic vote? No.

    I will oppose people who hate democracy and who hate the elected government of this country and who..hate..

    It is all I can do to share the air that they breathe. I undertand Bob McCartney has left here for Australia. I think David Vance should do the same.

    His site incites hatred – McCann’s “departure” should not be taken as a change as there is evidence that Vance utterly and compleely supprts this views – and this will be the subject of a court case shortly.

  • Dawkins,

    ‘Preciate the respect, man. And as Phantom says, we now have an East Coast voice as well as a West Coast voice!


    Google “Yoko Ono” and “Nigger” – maybe then you’ll get the point? Do try harder.

  • I wonder…

    [On Slugger, the rule is – keep to the ball and keep it civil – edited moderator]

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Just to note.

    Don’t bring arguments and disagreements from other blogs onto Slugger.

    We have enough moderating to do.

  • Some other thoughts…

    I think that every good blog has an owner with the last word. It can only be that way.

    [the last word – edited moderator]

  • Mick Fealty

    I’d prefer to give the last word to the public. But let me just add a couple of things.

    – One, I wish the list were longer. We need more diversity and more independence of thought, and blogs is the way forward.

    – Two, this choice was mine, and not intended as definitive, but I tried to encompass: quality; degree of focus; size of audience (important, but I didn’t have even information on that across the piste); length time going (there are some v promising new blogs that will no doubt feature in future lists); and regularity of posting.

    – My focus was Irish politics, north and south. I felt I could not credibly have left ATW out (regardless of the feelings of the author ;-)) UI would have come much higher, but he hasn’t been regular in his updates for some time now.

  • Well said

    –UI would have come much higher, but he hasn’t been regular in his updates for some time now–

    Fair point. Hopefully, UI is getting stronger day by day, and, should he choose to return to blogging, he’ll rock ’em next time.

    Your site is one of the best to be found anywhere. Fair play to you.

  • Dawkins


    “UI … hasn’t been regular in his updates for some time now.”

    He’s not the only one who hasn’t updated for some time, more’s the pity :0)

  • Darren Mac an Phríora

    Sarah Carey’s blog should definitely be up there at the top.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Okay… Hands up… That was a glaring omission… She’s good… tends to shoot from the hip, but she is good…

  • Looking through the list, there are certainly some great ones there but there are also several glaring omissions, like to name one.

    I realise it could be hard to pick a top 20 but there are many good ones left out.